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Demo reel advice


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#1 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 08:50 AM

Hello all,

I decided yesterday to work on a demo reel I could put online. It's certainly not finished and the doors are wide open for any comments. I'm already thinking about getting rid of the phone shots but I like the lock on at the end... I still have to find loads of shots from a :blink: protected DVD I directed/dp'd/steadicamed with incredible car to car shots. (Murcielago vs Kawazaki 600, F430 and much more! Man... What a summer!) Keep looking for updates!

I hope the link will work...

http://vids.myspace....eoid=1758675226

Thanks!
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#2 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 09:17 AM

By the way... It was all done with the Glidecam V8. I wish I'll get a better rig soon!
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#3 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:28 PM

Jean-Nicolas,

Nice to see that everything is not crazy wide lenses aimlessly following people as are so many first reels. That said, I think your editing technique is a little distracting, especially the transitions up front. The wipes make it hard to follow the shot and clearly see your work. Also, while I advocate moving on to another shot once you've made your point, I feel we need to see a little more. You can get away with fast clips once you have "name faces" on your reel and a body of work that is recognizable, but for now I'd let the viewer see a little more of your work (i.e. hold a few of the shots a bit longer). I think the split screen at the end showing yourself in one window and the shot in the other is unnecessary and distracting. While this sort of thing may appeal to technophiles, producers could care less.

Good luck.
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#4 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 02:02 PM

Hi Alec,
Thanks for all your feed back. I really like your work. I'll get rid of the wipes for sure... I only spent like an hour or so on the reel... Experimenting. As for my material, it's mostly coming from already edited movies but I'll get the rushs soon so that I could make the shots last a bit longer. Getting rid of the split screen as well... I'm gonna get footage from a recent martial art movie I've been on and my camera car stuff. Our "name faces" here are not realy known in US. There will be couple of those "Canadian stars"! :D Any shots you like in particular?
That's it for now.

P.S. You've got a lot of those wide walking/talking shots on your demo reel... But they're rock steady. ;) Nice!
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 03:46 PM

Jean-Nicolas,

Yes, I like your wraps around the people; good choice of focal length; good horizons.

As for the wide tracking shots of people on my reel, they are all still mostly medium focal length lenses. Certainly not against wide shots, just saying that many novice reels are super wide lenses following behind (the shots on my reel are proceeding) people's backs for an interminable amount of time. I like mixing things up with various focal lengths, etc. Thanks for the kind words.

Cheers,
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#6 Afton Grant

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:43 PM

Hey Jean-Nicolas,

Your operating looks pretty good. I'll echo Alec's comments about editing to make a good demo reel, but it's a decent start. I'll also add a very subjective point which you can choose to take or leave. The music you have chosen is somewhat loud and abrasive. It makes me want to stop watching, or at least turn it down. Like I said though, that's purely opinion.

Best Regards,
Afton
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#7 Matt Burton

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

Everybody has valid points, personaly I loved the music however it's a personal choice and not something you want to put on your reel.
The idea being your reel has to appeal to as many people as possible and as you've found this isn't the case.
For the equipment you have i'd say you have greate potential so when you move up to a better rig your gona blitz it !

-matt
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#8 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 10:05 PM

Brand new reel after comments...

http://vids.myspace....eoid=1763204002

The first two shots were done with an improvised rickhsaw... (wheeled chair with the vest)
The next sequence was on foot at same distance but with different focal length. Then ''ghetto flip'' low mode.
Ariane Moffatt live DVD on stage. http://www.arianemoffatt.com/ (look for Hasard video)
Back to the hospital for a tracking shot.
Then a sweet short I co-directed.
A Martin Deschamps videoclip. http://www.lgbmediev...marie_high.html (small bugs)
Then Les Achoppements a short I directed. Shoot in a one mile tunel under Quebec city.
Last shot's gonna be removed but was cool to do at 16x on the lens.

Now what do you think? Exept the fact that there is no title with my name! (again a small two hours blitz)
I like comments... Good or bad!
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#9 Lars Erik

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:57 AM

Hey Jean Nicolas,

I really like your two first shots. They get my attention because it's difficult to see if it's a dolly or a steadicam. An experienced DP I once worked with told me that you're only really good at steadicam when the viewer can't see it's a steadicam.

Your second scene is a bit long for my taste. No real new information about our operating is introduced in this scene after a 10-12 seconds. And in the wide shot you have really a lot of headroom, and it doesn't seem like there would be a reason for there to be so much headroom. This is something DP's really can dislike. So be careful about that. Did it myself a few times and the DP told me to do the shot again.

Other than that I second Matt that it's good work, specially on a V8. You'll most likely kick some a** when you get upgraded to a "real" rig.

Music is fine.

Keep up the good work.

LE
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#10 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:46 AM

Thanks Lars,
I second what you said about the second scene. I'll come up with new footage (as soon as I'll get it) to replace the beginning of that scene and the awful headroom shot. I'm glad that you like my work. It's hard to get the best out of a V8... I was stun when I've tryied out a master series for a heavier shoot. I'm planning on getting the Ultra2 system with Bartech and Transvideo... Big investment though for my poor Canadian pocket.
Thanks again!
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#11 Fabrice Maurel

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 12:35 PM

Salut Jean Nicolas,

First I would say: avoid putting your reel on Myspace and/or YouTube. The video compression they use is so bad, it makes anything you see a bad experience (in my view). You want to showcase your work in the best condition possible, and at the highest quality possible. I like your music, some people wont... It is for you to decide how important that is. A reel should have a universal apeal, but at the same time it should show a bit of your personality.
I have always liked that kind of transitions, but not on a reel. Keep it simple. I like the work, but I would get rid of the very dark scene that's in the middle of your reel. You just can't see anything (too dark), it seems pointless and break up the rythm of the reel.

my 2c.

cheers.
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#12 mattmarek

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 12:37 PM

the first two shots appear to be on a dolly correct? the opening shot, the woman appears soft. not sure if this is a compression thing with myspace or if the shot is just soft. if soft, you may want to cut some of the head off the shot.

it's hard to tell what is going on in the really dark shot near the end of your reel where you are leading the actor. maybe there is more detail when viewed with a high res dvd on tv, but with this myspace page, it was quite dark.

music seemed a bit tranquil for my taste.

hope you're doing well there in mtl. was there this past weekend and drove back home on the monday during the snow storm. a normal 4.5 hour trip took 8 hours. enjoyed the poutine though :)
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#13 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 02:20 PM

Hi Matt,
Actually, the two first shots were really hard to achieve. I was sitting on a brand new wheeled chair, on a super flat floor, with the vest on. Fast drop time (around 2 sec max). It took about 10 takes to nail it. The picture quality is really bad on my space, that's why it looks soft. It's going to be better on my web site...
I'm glad you made it through the storm. At least you've got good weather for the weekend! Poutine is better in Quebec City though!
See you around.
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#14 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 09:33 AM

Hello all,
I got rid of my two first reel and replaced them by this one...
http://vids.myspace....eoid=1957404310
I'm missing a beautifull car to moto shot though... It's still a work in progress but I find it short and sweet.
I like to get your feedback guys!
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